Prince Lasha: Green and Gold
Green and Gold
Prince Lasha Quintet Featuring Sonny Simmons
The Cry! (Fantasy OJCCD-1945-2)
Mark Proctor (bass); Gene Stone (drums).
Recorded: Los Angeles, CA; November 21, 1962
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
Prince Lasha was a Forth Worth peer of Ornette Coleman, and Sonny Simmons a Los Angeles partisan; their collaboration documents free jazz in development on the West Coast. Pairing a loping melodic line with a jarring stop-time section, the written material dramatizes a transition between conventional structures and open forms. When the lead voices solo, though, their improvisations lack a compelling arc—the beat is relaxed and the evocative theme forgone. The dynamism of two basses highlights the performance: the mournful bowed introduction, the plucked high-register counterpoint to the walking line, the scribbled solo atop a flute-alto riff.
Reviewer: Joe Petrucelli